EA has filed a pre-emptive strike lawsuit against military helicopter manufacturer Textron in a bid to keep the company’s vehicles in Battlefield 3.
Battlefield 3 includes three Textron-produced helicopters – the UH-1Y, V-22 Osprey and AH-1Z Viper – of which EA failed to obtained a license to use. EA had previously been in discussions with Textron to come to a usage agreement, but those talks have broken down.
EA has taken the first move in the dispute, filing a lawsuit against Textron and citing the First Amendment’s free speech laws in a bid to prevent Textron having the vehicle’s licenses and names removed from the game.
Of course, some of you may remember that EA has had success with this sort of thing in the past – managing to get away with using player likenesses in it’s NCAA Football franchise .
Then there was the case in which NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell over his own license appearing in EA’s NCAA basketball series.
EA’s position is that including the helicopters in the game doesn’t equate to an official product endorsement by Textron and are citing fair use in their inclusion.